Sarah Bein

Sarah Bein, a native Angelino, received her M.D. from Stanford University. She is the author of two collections of poetry, This Quiet Sun and Instead of Indonesia, both published by Red Hen Press, and written before the age of seventeen.

Her current book, entitled Thirty-Three Hats for Julia, is being released by Red Hen Press in January of 2008, and is her first work combining the topics of illness and doctoring into the medium of poetry.

She is the recipient of several grants, including two Stanford University School of Medicine Arts and Humanities Scholars Grants as well as a Katherine McKormack Traveling Grant. She is one of the recipients of the Lenore Marshall Barnard Prize for Poetry as well as the Rainer Maria Rilke Award for Young Poets

Her poetry has appeared in both medical and literary journals, including JAMA, British Medical Journal, The Healing Muse, Eclipse, and She has presented her work at NYU’s Medical Humanities conference and led a workshop entitled Creative Writing as a Lifelong Reflective Tool for Physicians, and has taught several small classes on the subject of Poetry and Medicine.

Sarah’s books have been taught at numerous universities including Boston University, and several Universities in Southern California.

She currently practices medicine in Los Angeles and continues to write poetry.

All Books

Thirty-Three Hats for Julia

Sarah Bein

Publication Date: February 15, 2008

$22 Tradepaper

ISBN: 978-1-59709-096-4




Thirty-Three Hats for Julia, the latest book by poet-physician Dr. Sarah Bein is slated for release by Red Hen Press in January of 2008. This book chronicles Dr. Bein’s experience in medical school at Stanford University and into residency at UCLA, traversing the space between illness and health.

The poems are written both from the perspective of the patient as well as from the perspective of physician, in the hopes of collapsing those boundaries to foster empathy and communication.

Her interest in medicine since the beginning of her career has been with those patients who endure chronic or life-limiting illness, which brought forth her story about Julia, detailed in a prose piece which comprises the third section of this book and is the book’s namesake.

Julia is a girl whose final days she shares, recounting the most sacred moments of her life, as well as conjuring the now-ghosts of a future she will not see. In her thoughts we see her attempt at reason; she looks in metaphor, verse, and abstraction for a cause, an explanation for this last role she plays. She relishes in narrative, in the narrative of her own life and the lives she would have lived, her thirty-three hats. This is where Dr. Bein’s narrative takes on that transformative capacity in its power to invent, through imagination, and with hope, to heal.

This Quiet Sun

Sarah Bein

Publication Date: December 1, 1996

$7.95 Tradepaper

ISBN: 1-888996-02-1



“The poems in this collection, all written before Sarah was seventeen, move with the singular grace of a much older, wiser person. It is as if young Sarah dipped herself in the tangled threads that carry children to adulthood and came up dancing, holding out these poems to us, something like a talisman, something like a gift. One reads in astonishment, ones reads and breathes deeply.”—Kate Gale, author of Where Crows and Men Collide


Essay by Martha Cooley in Literary Hub!

On a damp afternoon a few years ago, descending a stone ramp adjacent to a cobblestone lane, I slipped on a slick patch. Landing on my seat, I bounced upward […]